AP Images - Manuel Balce Ceneta
It appears that Big Blue will be forced to play without three injured starters Sunday in Chicago. And that's not even counting Mathias Kiwanuka, who's already on Injured Reserve.
Running back Brandon Jacobs (hamstring), cornerback Aaron Ross (hamstring) and safety Gibril Wilson (knee) did not practice on Friday and are listed as doubtful for the Chicago game. However, Derrick Ward has practiced all week and will join Reuben Droughns and Ahmad Bradshaw in the backfield. Ward missed the previous four games with ankle and groin injuries.
“Reuben and Ahmad and me are going to try to rush for as many yards as we can to take the pressure off of Eli,” Ward said.
Kevin Dockery is expected to start at cornerback for Ross.
“It’s another opportunity for me to make plays,” Dockery said. “This week I’m called upon to do a job and I’m going to do it.”
Plaxico Burress and fellow wide receiver Steve Smith are both listed as questionable, though the former did not practice and the latter did. Burress has practiced just once since Sept. 21 but has not missed a game. He has a sore knee in addition to his season-long sprained ankle.
Smith hasn’t played since fracturing his scapula on Sept. 16. He has recently been bothered by a hamstring injury.
“The knee just kind of got sore – I don’t really know when,” Burress said. “It’s nothing really serious. I’ve been going out and performing with it. I don’t expect it to stop me from playing.”
Linebacker Antonio Pierce, who hurt his ankle last week, practiced today and is listed as probable.
“We are hopeful that tomorrow will bring a good day and therefore he will be able to go,” Tom Coughlin said.